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By Srikumar Rao August 4, 0 The first block to personal mastery— and one of the biggest—is our unquestioned mental models. We accept these models so completely that we live our lives according to them. We have different mental models for different situations—for work, for love, for our families. We have dozens of them that we use, and some of them may actually be in direct conflict with others and we may not even know it.
Much of the stress in our lives arises from this lack of awareness. Your life is a jumble of mental models. You use them for everything. You have one model that tells you whom to fall in love with, another that evaluates how you are doing in your job, a third that lets you know if your child is growing well, a fourth that spurs you into getting a divorce, a fifth that picks your friends, and so on.
You have constructed dozens of these structures over the years and, collectively, they rule your life. I now further suggest that many of your old mental models do not serve you well. They, and especially the ones that are at odds with each other, are the cause of the angst in your life. But not all mental models are unhelpful. Indeed, I am going to present you with some new ones now that are radically different from anything you have encountered before. Do not pause and look too critically at the mental models that will be presented to you.
If you push hard enough, if you penetrate deeply enough, all these models will crumple. But then, so will the ones you are currently using; the ones that you have not subjected to the same scrutiny. You can tailor it and tweak it and modify it and make it your own. Find another. You use only what works for you in your life. Exercise: My Mental Models Before you do this first exercise, I urge you to think of yourself as a scientist.
The laboratory and the object of the study are both yourself. Do this practice as objectively as you can. If you really apply yourself, here is what will happen. Some of the ideas that come out of the exercise will create a rush in your mind. You will feel thrilled as you recognize that you have come face to face with something new. Take out your journal. On the top of the page, write four headings for columns: family, work, love and self. For the next 10 minutes, your pen is not to leave the page, you are not to cross anything out or rewrite or pretty anything up.
When 10 minutes are up, put the journal away. Give yourself credit for having identified some of the more important mental models in your life. You will discover which ones are not working and which are causing you endless grief. You will discard many and modify some. You will adopt new mental models after you have tried them out and are convinced they are right for you. Through exercises like this one, you will create the change in your life. Not me. Not the accounts of others who have done it.
All of the latter may help, but only if you accept it. So when you are tempted not to do an exercise, resist the urge! You only get out what you put in! Excerpted from Are You Ready to Succeed? Published by Hyperion. All rights reserved.
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Are You Ready to Succeed?
Related Info Overview Do you come passionately alive at work and relish the role that work plays in your life? If not, Dr. Srikumar Rao has an invitation for you. His work has set hundreds of people on paths of self-discovery that have totally transformed their lives. Rao helps people identify and realize their ideal life. Based on Dr. It is designed to help students produce profound changes in their lives and it often does.
Are You Ready to Succeed? (Summary)